Slowly but surely, the Los Angeles Lakers are taking steps towards filling out their roster as free agency rolls on. But while the team is awaiting the decision of forward Kawhi Leonard, they have to tread carefully when it comes to cap space, so the signings have been few and far between. Most recently, it was revealed that Rob Pelinka and company are eyeing former New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks guard Trey Burke.
The report comes courtesy of Marc Berman of the New York Post, who explains that Burke had previously hinted about joining the Lakers while with the Knicks. In turn, it was revealed the team is now in the mix to sign the 26-year-old guard.
The potential addition of Burke wouldn’t come as a surprise, even beyond the reasons pointed out above by Berman. Obviously, the Lakers may need to make a few cost-effective signings in free agency, specifically if they’re able to land Leonard this offseason.
While that remains up in the air, the Lakers bringing Burke into the mix would set up a situation where they have a player capable of running the second unit and wouldn’t break the bank in the process. Beyond that, he’s also proven capable of scoring in bunches throughout his NBA career.
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Trey Burke’s Stats & Outlook With Lakers
Although it’s far from a lock that the Lakers will sign Burke, he showcased a bit of his upside during the 2018-19 season, one in which his time was split between the Knicks and Mavericks. The former Michigan Wolverines guard began the season with the Knicks but was included in the blockbuster trade which sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas.
Over 33 games with New York, Burke averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 assists and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 34.9 percent from beyond the arc. In the 25 games he played with the Mavericks to finish out the year, the 6-foot-1 guard posted marks of 9.7 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 rebounds. He increased his shooting percentage overall to 46.3 percent in that span while making 35.6 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Burke makes sense as a target for the Lakers and will continue to be a name for fans to monitor as free agency rolls along.
Lakers’ Current Roster & Free Agency Needs
Even if the Lakers do manage to sign Burke, it’s likely they would target quite a few additional guards in free agency. The idea of the team re-signing Rajon Rondo has been tossed around a bit, and as things currently stand, the Lakers do not have a single point guard on their roster following the blockbuster trade for Anthony Davis.
The current landscape of the roster and starting lineup for the Lakers remains a work in progress, but once Leonard’s decision is made things will start to become clear. Regardless, adding multiple guards is virtually a must at this point, but they have other needs across the roster as well.
After the team’s trade for Davis, they were left with just LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and (soon) Davis. Since that point, they’ve signed guard/forward Troy Daniels and forward Jared Dudley to minimum deals.